No, of course they aren’t looking at the person with the treats. Why would you possibly think that? 😂 We had to make a stop in Utah to meet the lovely @adventuringwithnala
so Ella could finally meet her twin. These two were so hilarious together and it’s crazy how similar they are in almost every way possible. I’m so happy we were able to connect and get out some of my girl’s playful energy before the rest of the drive home. But I already can’t wait to stop by again to see if they still look the same once they’ve grown up a bit. I would love to see if you can try to guess who is who 🤔 See you soon, Nala!
Also, thank you so much for all the recommendations on my last post! I’ve tried to listen to as many podcasts as possible and so far a few of my favorites have been: My Favorite Murder, Armchair Expert, and The Dirtbag Diaries. Still going through others but those are just a few that I’ve loved!
Our first time hosting in the van was SO MUCH FUN. 💕 Kristin actually reached out this summer because she was interested in van life. We met up for wine and have basically talked every day since. Now she’s bought a van and is starting her build! There are very few things that I love more than seeing solo women jump on the road and take off. She tested things out this weekend with us and hopefully learned what she likes, doesn’t like, etc. 👌🏼 Anyways, Ella and I are headed back to the Midwest to finish out the year with family. We have about 27+ hours to drive. Recommend places, podcasts, things to do, ANYTHING PLEASE. 😂😭
Thanks for hanging out with us @wheretheroadforks__
I know I don’t post as often as I probably should. The truth is that it’s easy for me to get caught up on here for hours on the days I post. I try to answer every question and I always read each comment. I go through my messages and end up staring at my screen for way too long. So please, please don’t worry about me when I’m not posting. Everything is okay. Actually if I’ve been gone awhile, it’s probably because everything is more than okay. I love sharing with you, and the connections that I make in this space are more than I ever imagined. But I love sharing special moments with this girl even more. No camera. No validation. Just the two of us running around somewhere and enjoying every minute of it.
I’m so grateful for each one of you who chooses to follow along with us. Please don’t ever doubt that. I just like taking time to get lost and then finding my way back here.
“I remember taking a mental picture about a month ago. If I close my eyes and think about it, I can relive every detail of that moment. I was parked in Utah on my way to San Diego. I was laying in bed on my side, and Ella was behind me being the big spoon with her little paw thrown across my ear. I felt her head lay on top of mine and press down. I immediately thought to myself, "This moment is one of the best that I'll ever have. The happiest I could ever possibly be." Life was perfect.
Then she moved her head and rolled around... And the moment was over just like that. If you take anything from this story (full blog story), please notice the good moments. The best ones that you'll ever have.
Take a mental picture.
Because you never know when they'll be gone and everything will change. It can happen in an instant. But even in the midst of your worst days ever, keep in mind that it isn't only the good moments that are fleeting.
The worst will pass and another perfect moment will come soon enough.”
A little piece of a pretty lengthy blog post that I wrote while decompressing the last couple days after an incredibly stressful week. If you want to know all the details and updates on Ella’s surgery, the fire evacuation, and everything else we’ve been up to, click the link in my bio. ❤️
That moment you meet two other crazy dog lady, vegan, van dwellers.. You snatch them up and become terrifyingly close within 3 days. ❤️ These are just two out of many amazing women that I met last weekend at the @womenontheroad
gathering. Words still fall short of how I feel about that meet up. I have never felt more connected and less alone in my entire life. Knowing that I have this community standing with me is the most empowering feeling I could ever describe. Sometimes it’s important to know that there are other people out there exactly like you. You are never alone and you’re not crazy. No matter who you are or what you want in life.. You are not alone. If I can find these ladies, you will find your people. It took me a long time to find mine. But I’m so grateful that I have them now, and trust me.. They were well worth the wait.
Thank you thank you thank you. To all of you following this weird journey of mine. To all the women at the gathering. And to @womenontheroad
for reminding me that I’m not alone.
In the 📷: @sloanedoggg
This is what most nights really look like for me. No crazy views. No insane scenery. Sometimes there really are mountains but most nights there are just bushes in the parking lot. Ella laying at my feet and my best friend on the phone. Working on my laptop and way too much coffee for one person. It’s these moments that make living in a van feel so normal. But it’s also these quiet, normal moments where it usually hits me.. I’ve actually created this life for myself. I worked really hard and still do every day. I figured out what I wanted and I did it. It’s not impossible or just luck. You can do the exact same thing. No excuses. Just figure out what you want and get there. And whenever you doubt yourself, just look forward to the first mundane moment where it hits you and you realize you actually did it. You created your own happiness. Amazing views are cool but these moments are everything.
Swipe ➡️ This happened in about 2.5 seconds. She abruptly jumped up, walked over to my feet.. and grabbed on for her life. It’s hard not to just laugh at most the time though honestly. 😂 But we finally made it to San Diego! Being in a van again the last couple weeks has felt SO DAMN GOOD. For me, there’s so much comfort in change and stability in movement. I know we’re all different and some people may find those things in a completely different way which is awesome. But for me, this kind of life is all I need. ❤️
Spent the last few days with basically no service hanging out at Yellowstone and then Grand Teton. It totally surpassed my expectations and the drive down to Salt Lake City was probably my favorite drive of all time. We only left because I needed to catch up on laundry, showers, and work but I’m already thinking of going back before it gets too cold! I think Grand Teton has got to be my new favorite park. I could’ve stayed there for weeks. I’ve also been amazed at how well this girl does with traveling. She LOVES everyone and is almost always the start to every conversation I’ve had. Anyways, what’s your favorite national park?! I’m curious if I should go to any more before heading west to San Diego. 👌🏼 Oh! Also I’ve been getting some questions about the free campsites I stay at and I always put every single campsite on my website! So you can find any of them there whenever you need em. ❤️
Early mornings in the van are honestly the thing I missed more than anything and sharing them with this girl is the best. Even if we’re in a Walmart parking lot and it kinda sucked last night. I’ll take it. 👌🏼❤️
We’re officially back on the road 👏🏼👏🏼 A lot has happened this summer and it’s definitely been a challenge. But I’m grateful now for where it’s lead me. This next adventure will be completely different than the last and I’m excited to see where it’ll take me. Ella is already really comfortable in her new home and has done amazing so far. She hasn’t even tried to chew anything inside the van!! 🙌🏼 But we’re headed to Yellowstone now and then we’ll just see where things take us from there 🤷🏼♀️ A huge thank you to all the solo ladies out there who have reached out the last few months and encouraged me to keep moving forward. I can’t wait to meet you all on the road!! ❤️
Seriously my favorite picture ever taken. ❤️ But less than a week before we leave! I can’t wait to see how this girl does on the road. Praying she doesn’t try to destroy the van in the first 20 seconds but we shall see 🤞🏼
Took Ella to her soon- to- be home yesterday! ❤️ She was pretty confused (obviously) but loved running around and checking everything out. Right now, she chews absolutely anything possible (mostly my ankles) and tries to eat my hair every chance she can get. She presses the side of her head against my chest all the time and just sits perfectly still almost as if she’s hearing my heartbeat (am I crazy lol?). But she’s the sweetest little babe in the world, and I can’t even begin to explain how excited/lucky I am to have her riding shotgun with me through it all.
It’s been awhile since I shared an update! Honestly I’m just never sure what to show you because this is what the van looks like 99% of the time during a build... Hectic and kind of a mess. Stuff everywhere and small details taking up so much time that you can’t really tell all the work going into it. But we’re getting there. Things are being done and hitting the road can’t come soon enough. But in the meantime, did you see the best part of it all?! 🐶❤️ My little van babe will be joining me next week!
In love with this kitchen so far! Who knows, maybe it’ll actually make me want to try and learn how to cook 🙄🤷🏼♀️ Also, added this fold out table so I can have as many places as possible outside of the van to work and hangout. Even though I love being outside, sometimes it’s easy for me to get stuck in a groove of hanging out inside the van too much. So I’m forcing myself out of that! Hoping to be done and moving in by the end of the month ❤️
Sorry but I’m so excited about this! I’ll show another angle of the van eventually I promise. 😂 But it was such a pain in the a** constantly finding somewhere to hang these so we put a mount in the back of the van so I can practice whenever! I’m working on a blog series with a lot of the build details, materials used, why I chose the Transit this time, etc. So I’ll let you know when all of that is done. But in the mean time, everyone has been asking where I’ll be heading first and I still have no clue 😳 The build won’t be done for a few more weeks but any ideas where I should go? Let me know if you any suggestions!
She’s really starting to come togetherrr! 👏🏼 The fridge and housing for it has also been added since taking this. I’m going with a 110V standard mini fridge again and also doing the same electrical setup as last time. It includes 400 Watts of solar on top, two 95 amp hour batteries, and a 1500 Watt inverter. That’s just so I can have plenty of power for outlets, lights, the fridge, and induction stove! I’m super excited to get started on the design and colors now that most of the building is out of the way. 😍 This is my favorite part!
Playing on the new benches over a back table!! 😭🙏🏼 I went with two benches this time because I won’t need as much storage. The back slide-out table is mainly because a lot of free campsites don’t have picnic tables so now I can still have somewhere to work and eat outside no matter where I am. Behind me is the pocket door which is also awesome because I can lock it at night which will give me a little extra sense of safety (You can see it a little better in my story from yesterday) .. But the build is coming along day by day and it’s getting me super pumped to get back on the road and start this same but different adventure. ❤️🙏🏼
Progress is being made! So far, the framing, wiring, and flooring is done. ✅ I also realized I haven’t exactly said the details of the van yet! She’s a 2017 Ford Transit 148” wheelbase with 60,000 miles and the interior height is 6’7” 🙌🏼. People often ask for tips on finding a van and I always say to expand the search far and wide! You don’t always have to look only in your area. I ended up saving a lot of money by flying to Georgia and getting this van versus any around here in the Midwest. ❤️ So just be patient and look everywhere you can! Super excited to keep moving forward and working on this beauty.